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In March we will explore another jewel of a neighbourhood, Joo Chiat, a place where Singapore’s rich multicultural heritage really comes alive.
The Joys of Joo Chiat/ March 22nd
Once filled with coconut plantations and used as a weekend retreat by wealthy city dwellers, Joo Chiat developed into a laid-back residential suburb by the early 20th century.
Also famous as a district oozing Peranakan culture - which in Singapore consists mainly of a mix of the two rich cultures emanating from the marriage of early Chinese traders with Malay women - our Joo Chiat walk will explore this legacy, including the unique pre-war architecture, colourful two-storey shophouses and terrace houses with ornate facades, intricate motifs and ceramic tiles.
Religion has always played a central role in the Peranakan culture; in earlier days, this was in the shape of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism - & often a blend of all 3! We will visit one of these 3-in-1 places of worship to see handcrafted, decorated paper objects, commissioned for the departed to enjoy in the spirit world as part of the rituals surrounding ancestor worship with its emphasis on filial piety.
We will also discover Christianity’s impact on the Peranakans in the form of the 1930s Bethesda Church, recently designated as a conservation building, and one of only two Christian churches offering Peranakan church services here.
For a truly Peranakan experience, we will end our walk with kueh appreciation in the company of a 4th generation Baba (male Peranakan) who will share with us his passion, and vision of how he strives to preserve his culture in the modern context of Singapore.
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